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I can’t even describe how good it is to be here. I love the over the top decor. I’d never decorate my house this way, but I love it here. I love the sight, sound and smell of the ocean. I really love that, because it feeds my soul a way that nothing else does. It renews my spirit. I love that someone makes my bed and cleans the bathroom (I REALLY like that part). I love that someone cooks for me three times a day, and will cook for me at midnight if I get hungry then. I may not love all the food, but I love that I’m not cooking it. I love getting drinks brought to me on the beach. I love the salsa for the chips. I love that I can ask for champagne in my room when I get back from the beach, and not only will I get champagne, but they will throw in a couple other decadent surprises as well. I love that they will drive me in a golf cart to the lobby and the restaurants and anywhere else I ask.
I love all that stuff. I do. But what I really love is seeing these guys. They are like the sons I never had. Oh wait! I do have two sons. Okay, they are like the Mexican sons I never had.
Karen and I dressed for dinner and went downstairs to get a ride to the lobby. I wanted to give the computer to Daniel before dinner. I got downstairs and am about to get into the golf cart when I realize I have forgotten the computer. My brain is going into vacation mode already. I run upstairs to get it. Okay, I didn’t run. I took the elevator.
Now we are good to go. Charly drives us to the lobby, chatting all the way.
I take the computer to Daniel. I also have a gift of a Legos for his son Matthew. Whenever you bring something for the staff you have to write a note saying that you are giving it to them. They and their cars are checked by security when they leave every day.
Karen and I go to Venecia for our dinner. It is right off the lobby. It is the Italian restaurant. It is very over the top in terms of decor. Sometimes the food is outstanding and sometimes it is just average.
They start you off with a tasty amuse bouche of whipped marscapone cheese and mango. It is served with a spoon made out of cracker. I really like it, but Karen passes on it. I understand, I feel my arteries clogging up as I eat it.
Appetizers are beef carpaccio for me and calamari for Karen. Both are very good. At least mine is, and Karen says hers is. It’s not like I would ever taste calamari. That’s one of those things I will NEVER eat. Just on principle. Don’t be fooled by its round shape. It’s squid for goodness sake! Who eats squid? Okay, I know ALOT of people eat it. It’s a common item on menus everywhere. But I NEVER will. However, I spare Karen from this little diatribe. I just enjoy my beef carpaccio (code for raw, thin slices of beef) and let her enjoy her squid.
We both order the lamb. I ask for medium rare and she asks for medium. I am pretty sure they mixed up our orders because mine is not remotely medium rare. It’s not medium either. It was well done. I recommend, in general, ordering your meat a little rarer than you want it. It doesn’t matter enough to me to send it back or anything. I’m hungry so I eat it, and I eat some of Karen’s.
We also ordered the shrimp and lobster risotto to share. This is one of my favorite dishes. It did not come out well at all this time and we did not eat much of it.
I ordered wine that is a red blend, to drink. Karen ordered a glass of champagne, but said it was too sweet. So she drank some of my red blend.
It was not an awesome dinner. It was pretty average. Admittedly, my bar is set very high because my favorite restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, is arguably the best restaurant in Colorado. It is in Boulder and it has appeared on the “top 100 in the country” lists. The food there is amazing. So is the wine and service. But the food itself is worth a visit. When you take a bite, you just have to have a moment of silence in reverence of it.
When I go to an AI, I want decent food. I get that at the Grand. Sometimes I get very good food. I wouldn’t tolerate mediocre food. Overall, the food is good.
We skip dessert. There will chocolate martini’s tonight at the bar. That’s dessert enough most nights. Most, not all. So don’t hold me to that statement when I order dessert later in the trip.
Daniel is waiting for us at the Lobby Bar. I wonder aloud where Steve and Janelle are and Daniel says they are in the Music Bar with Humberto. I tell him to go get them all. I say I want Humberto to make me a chocolate martini.
And he does!
He makes Karen her special, clear chocolate martini. The green thing is a mint leaf. It’s about the closest as Karen gets to eating green vegetables. I’m not big on them either though, so that’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.
I went back in the kitchen area to have a look around. Don’t ask me why. It had just always seemed like this mysterious place the bartenders and waitresses went back to and I wanted to have a look around. At one point the phone was ringing and nobody was at the bar (it was near closing time) and I went back and said, “The phone is ringing. Someone should answer it.”Karen later told me that was a very mom thing to do.
That phone rings all the time and I still haven’t figured out who is calling.
We had a good time with the boys. I felt like I had to divide my attention though. After I had the chocolate martini I asked Daniel to make me a Cucumber Mojito. That’s what he is doing in this picture. I have to say, a girl could get drunk dividing her attention between her favorite bartenders.
We had a good time with Steve and Janelle.
I asked where Perfecto was. There were smirks and giggles.
Perfecto no longer works at the Grand. His last day and exit was, shall we say, memorable. He had been moved to the Pool Bar, and apparently was none too happy about it. Rumor has it that he had decided ahead of time the day talked about would be his last day.
He decided to have some wine with a co-worker, Eli. They had some Woodbridge Rose. Okay, they had a lot of Woodbridge Rose. (SWEET). Rumor has it they had 5 or 6 bottles. They started at Las Brisa (in the back), continued drinking it at the Pool Bar (in that room underground where they go to get supplies) and then finished it off at the Lobby Bar. They were pretty…what’s the word?…wasted?…shitfaced?…plastered?…feeling no pain?…drunk?…really, really drunk?…can’t quite stand up without help drunk?
You get the idea. When they were confronted by a manager, Perfecto made a run for it. He ran. He ran out, ran to the employee exit and, remember, I told you how they have to be checked by security? He ran through security. One of his coworkers described it as, “Run Forrest, run!” It was a pretty funny story.
But kind of sad too. Perfecto had his moments, but he was very nice the last time I was here. Even though the time before that I had insisted Humberto make my chocolate martinis, he was still nice to me. I hope he found another job where he is happier. And sober. (Update: Humberto told me that Perfecto is working at one of the Excellence hotels and he is doing okay).
We get a ride back to the room, fill out the room service breakfast menu, have some Havana Siete and fall into a satisfied sleep.